6/21/16 – Expert: California nuke plant isn’t needed
Publish Date: 6/21/2016
Author: The Associated Press
Publication: The Tribune
The Latest on the decision to close California’s last nuclear power plant (all times local):
An expert welcomes the decision to close California’s last nuclear power plant, calling the facility costly, dangerous and unnecessary given the rise of solar and other renewable energy sources.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and environmental groups said Tuesday that the Diablo Canyon plant would be shuttered by the time its license runs out in 2025.
Daniel Hirsch, director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says “Diablo’s not really needed” anymore. He says renewable energy is cheap enough that the market is killing nuclear power.
The plant sits in an area of seismic faults on the central coast. Until it closes, Hirsch says it will be a safety threat if an earthquake releases radioactivity.
That’s what occurred in 2011 when a quake and tsunami hit a power plant in Fukushima, Japan.
A utility company and environmental groups have reached an agreement that will close California’s last nuclear power plant, ending the state’s nuclear power era.
The state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and the groups said Tuesday that the Diablo Canyon plant will close by 2025. The accord would resolve disputes about the plant that helped fuel the anti-nuclear movement nationally.
The 30-year-old plant supplies 9 percent of California’s annual power. The agreement will replace it with solar power and other forms of renewable energy.
The move ends a power source once predicted as necessary to meet the growing energy needs of the nation’s most populous state.
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